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Blood Drives and Online Religious Services: Spirituality in the Time of COVID-19

The Hindu Temple in Beavercreek
Wiki Commons Little T889
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The Hindu Temple in Beavercreek is closed to worshippers until at least April 3, but priests have been live streaming prayer services. They're also saying special prayers for "Coronavirus treatment and prevention" every day.

The Coronavirus is changing the way Ohioans celebrate their spirituality. Houses of worship are moving their services online and finding new ways to serve their followers.

Emmanuel Catholic Church in downtown Dayton has put the Stations of the Cross online, in a 35-minute video.

In Oakwood, Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg at Beth Abraham Synagogue posted his weekly Dvar Torah on SoundCloud.

The Hindu Temple in Beavercreek is closed to worshippers right now, but priests at the temple have been live streaming prayers.

While most places of worship aren’t having the large gatherings they usually do, life and death go on. For now, most funerals are being kept small. Just immediate family members and a few close friends.

Despite the challenges, people of all faiths are finding ways to connect with their communities.

Father Tim Fahey at Saint Charles Borromeo in Kettering says volunteers are contacting anyone they think might need help.

“We’re trying to push that as a primary ministry for a lot of our parishioners at this point because we know so many people are feeling so alone and anxious about the whole thing,” Fahey says.

This weekend, St. Charles won’t be holding a mass that’s open to the public, but they will be hosting a blood drive on Saturday morning at 9AM.

Right now, blood in the Miami Valley is in short supply, and blood donors are exempt from the Health Department’s Stay at Home order.

“It’s still on,” Fahey says. “They’ll be pulling a trailer up to the parking lots and running the whole blood program from there.”

In addition to St. Charles, Fairhaven Church and St. Francis in Centerville will also be hosting blood drives.

A statement about blood donors being exempt from the Stay at Home order and a list this week’s Community Blood Center Events can be found on their website